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Diabetes Linked to Higher Parkinson's Risk

or how many calories their bodies absorb -- can reduce insulin resistance and improve beta cell function in severely obese people, regardless of whether they lose any weight, according to a study by researchers in Italy.

With the number of obese people rising rapidly in the U.S. and around the world, bariatric surgery has been growing in popularity. Previous research has shown this surgery can restore glucose tolerance in the majority of severely obese people. But this study found it could also improve beta cell function, regardless of how much weight a person does or doesn't lose after surgery.

Obesity greatly increases a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes, which is characterized by insulin resistance and impaired beta cell function.

"Why these surgeries would improve beta cell function and glucose tolerance, independent of weight loss, remains unclear," said lead researcher Dr. Ele Ferrannini, Department of Internal Medicine and CNR Institute of Clinical Physiology, University of Pisa School of Medicine, Italy. "But obviously the fact that it does improve beta-cell function could make bariatric surgery a useful tool in the prevention of diabetes in the severely obese patient."

Note: ADA clinical practice guidelines recommend that bariatric surgery may be considered for some individuals with type 2 diabetes who also have a BMI of 35 or higher. While this can result in marked improvements in glycemia, the long-term benefits and risks of bariatric surgery in individuals with pre-diabetes and diabetes continue to be studied.

Diabetes Care, published by the American Diabetes Association, is the leading peer-reviewed journal of clinical research into the nation's fifth leading cause of death by disease. Diabetes also is a leading cause of heart disease and stroke, as well as the leading cause of adult blindness, kidney failure, and non-traumatic amputations. For more information about diabetes, visit the American Diabetes Asso
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